Despite the advent of Covid19 vaccines from several countries, the World Health Organization warned that herd immunity would not be possible to achieve by this year.
The body’s head scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that it would take time to manufacture and administer enough doses of the antidote to stop the spread of the virus.
“We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021,” she said in a press briefing. She added that people still needed to adhere to measures such as physical distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing to minimize risk of infection and transmission.
“It takes time to scale the production of doses, not just in the millions, but here we are talking about in the billions,” she added.
Swaminathan stressed the need for patience among the public, saying that the vaccines are coming and that they will be distributed to all countries.
Meanwhile, public health measures that help to stop transmission must be continued for “the rest of this year at least.”